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Old McDonald

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Reply with quote  #11 
I have not got to thinking that far along the line yet, but when you consider some of the pressurised things tht hose clamps are used for I am sure you would be OK. I have a few small ones on a garden irrigation system that operates off mains water - this is the first time in my life I have not had to supply my own water. The previous owner had it installed when the main line ran through part of his other land to the village across the river. I also use them on my farm sprayer that is sometimes cranked up to a few bars. 

SolarInterested

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Reply with quote  #12 
Willie when I was browsing the BIS site for PEX related stuff I came across this about non glazed pool heaters built by 'Tom':
"The "T"s I am using for my connections are a "Lasco" irrigation fitting, actually a 1/2" injection molded plastic fitting which works great with 5/8" PEX. I just heat the end of the PEX for 15 seconds with a heat gun and push the softened PEX onto the fitting. It grips the PEX so well no clamps are required."
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/PoolHeating/TomCollector/TomPEXCollector.htm

Again, that's only for a low pressure, low temp application. In  fact Tom mentions on his own site:
"The design used here, with the PEX and plastic fittings, will not work in a glazed panel. We found this out the hard way, as during any stagnation in the summer time, the heat inside a glazed panel exceeds the melt point of the plastic irrigation fittings."
http://www.aluminum-solar-absorbers.com/pool-solar-collectors

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Both temperature rise and airflow are integral to comparing hot air collectors
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #13 
SI,

I can see why the irrigation fittings wouldn't take the heat, but I wonder if brass 1/2" hose barb fittings would work.  They're a bit larger in diameter than the PEX fittings, but if the PEX were heated as you describe you might get the same results, and they WOULD take the heat.  If the PEX softened too much one could always put a clamp on it.  Anyway, I'm glad I tried the clamps... it's so much easier to work with than CPVC with all that gluing, and without all the elbows at corners I expect the flow is better.

Well I found a 1/2" garden hose barb and tried it.  The PEX stuck like death to the barb.  Plugged the other end and put it on the hose faucet with full pressure.  It didn't blow off at least.  I had a small leak but I don't think it was the PEX, rather the o-ring in the fitting.  Though inconclusive, the results are promising.


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Willie, Tampa Bay
SolarInterested

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Reply with quote  #14 
Looking forward to seeing how the experiment works out Willie.
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Both temperature rise and airflow are integral to comparing hot air collectors
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #15 
One thing I did determine, was that the clamps were a lot faster. It takes more time to soften the PEX than install a clamp, and of course you have to have power for the heat gun.

Also, the parts aren't interchangeable. The PEX fittings are an easy slip fit, and must have a clamp. The hose barb is larger and the PEX MUST be heated or you can't get it on. So you can't mix & match your parts.

Then there's the relative cost of parts, which I haven't checked yet.

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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
Bruce

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Reply with quote  #16 
The expensive part is buying the tool to tighten the clamp if you are only doing a few of them.  If you buy the clamps and fittings in bulk (25 to a bag at pex supply house) the fitting are cheap and the price of the tool spread out over more...if you need 25 of them! None of my neighbors had one, so I bought one.  The one neighbor is using it this weekend ;-)

stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #17 
Which is exactly why I went with hose clamps. Also they can be removed.

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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
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